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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Microbe Hunters: the epic history of how antibiotics were born, saving millions of lives and creating a vast new industry known as Big Pharma.
As late as the 1930s, virtually no drug intended for sickness did any good; doctors could set bones, deliver babies, and offer palliative care. That all changed in less than a generation with the discovery and development of a new category of medicine known as antibiotics. By 1955 the age-old evolutionary relationship between humans and microbes had been transformed, trivializing once-deadly infections.
William Rosen captures this revolution with all its false starts, lucky surprises, and eccentric characters. He explains why, given the complex nature of bacteria - and their ability to rapidly evolve into new forms - the only way to locate and test potential antibiotic strains is by large-scale, systematic trial-and-error experimentation. Organizing that research needs large, well-funded organizations and businesses, and so our entire scientific-industrial complex, built around the pharmaceutical company, was born.
Timely, engrossing, and eye opening, Miracle Cure is a must-listen science narrative - a drama of enormous range, combining science, technology, politics, and economics to illuminate the reasons behind one of the most dramatic changes in humanity's relationship with nature since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago.
©2017 William Rosen (P)2017 Penguin Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By xar adelberg on 09-18-17


Rosen's contribution to the literature documenting the history of modern medicine is of the highest quality. I appreciate that he didn't shy away from discussing specific chemistry as it fit into the story of how medicine got to where it is now. I reread several chapters as I went, not because I necessarily needed to, but because the pace was brisk and there was so much going on that I didn't want to miss out. The fascinating content was non-stop, from the birth of chemistry aka "the dye business" to the discovery of penicillin to the tremendous struggle in attempting to produce it. I would recommend Miracle Cure to anyone with interest in how stuff works, medicine, disease, WWI, history of consumer protection, history of big pharma, etc.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Aneil on 07-25-17

A cure-all for science writing that bores.

Excellent discussion of the history and key individuals behind the development of the life-saving antibiotics we take for granted today, even though they are becoming less useful thanks to overuse and misuse (as part of animal feeds). The Audible narration is superb.

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